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Do income tax breaks for the elderly affect economic growth?

Ben Brewer, Karen Smith Conway and Jonathan Rork

Contemporary Economic Policy, 2022, vol. 40, issue 1, 7-27

Abstract: Income tax breaks for elderly taxpayers are sizable, widespread, and potentially affect growth through migration and other behaviors. We provide the first investigation into the growth effects of differential tax policy by age, taking a multi‐pronged empirical approach to US state‐level data since 1977. Some analyses include panel error‐correction models combined with variation in state‐level policies over time. Alternative analyses use how changes in federal tax law manifest at the state‐level. Results suggest that taxes on lower income taxpayers, of any age, decrease growth the most, while taxing the high income elderly—those targeted recently—has little effect.

Date: 2022
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